Global Discovery Vacations Review: Cancun is Always Dazzling

When you love a resort, it’s nice to revisit the property every so often so you know what to expect. Member Lee R. returned to one of his favorite resorts – the immaculate Mayan Palace Riviera Maya in Cancun, Mexico. This Global Discovery Vacations Member Monday is the perfect example of what happens when you fly south to sunny beaches for the winter!

Where would you recommend a fellow member go to…
El Sobrecito del Fogon across from the Mega Mart in Playa del Carmen. This is a little hole-in-the-wall restaurant with Spanish menus and very few English speakers. We had drinks and a meal for less than $20, which was the best meal value of the entire vacation!

If you can’t remember the name of the restaurant, just look for the line! It is a short wait and well worth it.

Calle Quinta Avenida in Playa del Carmen. Just walking this street is interesting! There is street entertainment, local shops and of course tourist shops. There are plenty of places to eat as well but, being tourist spots, they are a bit more pricey.

Have fun/attractions:
Xel-Ha Park has great snorkeling and all-you-can-eat-breakfast and lunch buffets!

If you are into snorkeling at your own pace, this is a great location. You start the snorkeling at the mouth of an underground river (cenote) and swim out into a bay. We made two trips and had a great time! In between, you can enjoy the buffets, free drinks and a walk to the ocean.

What was your favorite…
Resort/Condo Amenity:
My wife and I have been to the Mayan Palace three times and our daughter went there on her honeymoon. The atmosphere is fantastic and you always feel as if you are the staff’s number one priority! From the maids to the shuttle drivers to the maintenance workers to the front office staff to the concierge to the bartenders to the wait staff, you are treated as a guest with friendship. They always make you feel welcome!

Place to go in the destination:
The pool and swim up bar! The pool is large so that even if there are a lot of people, you feel as if you have your own area. It is a great place to meet people and relax! Check out happy hours and the drink of the day special!

Why did you choose this destination? Were you traveling for a special occasion?
We had been there before and knew we would have a great experience. We have a level of comfort returning to where we have been in the past and can start enjoying the vacation immediately rather than having to learn our way around. Every time we go there are additional amenities and improvements! We look forward to returning in the future!

What was your favorite memory of your vacation?

The Mexican Show on Thursday night! It features great entertainment and an excellent buffet at a very reasonable price. It was a relaxing and fun evening. They seat you randomly and we enjoyed meeting another couple that was seated with us. The buffet was an excellent opportunity to try many dishes we wouldn’t order separately.

Any tips for a traveler going to this resort or destination? Anything you think they should bring?
We went to Cozumel for a day trip and didn’t realize we would need cash for many of the activities on the island. In the future, we’ll bring more cash for day trips, tips and other miscellaneous expenses. We don’t always feel comfortable with a credit card in some of the more isolated areas.

Also, be adventurous. We took the shuttle into Playa del Carmen at a much lower price than taxis. The resort staff does not promote this, so you are kind of on your own getting to the main highway. We always felt safe and secure, just make sure the driver knows your destination on the return trip!

The beach at the Mayan Palace ends at water’s edge so swimming in the ocean at the resort isn’t very inviting. However, the beach is beautiful and you can spend the day in the pool so this wasn’t really a detriment to enjoying our vacation.

About you 

How long have you been a Global Discovery Vacations member?
Fourteen years!

Why did you join the club?
The desire to travel to various destinations at a cost that didn’t break the bank. We still do timeshare presentations for some of the perks they offer and none of them can touch what Global provides. Anything they offer, Global offers the same or better and the cost is much more affordable! They normally admit we have better than they could give us.

Even our family members have enjoyed the weeks we have given away. It is such an easy gift to give for a child’s or friend’s honeymoon – let them pick the destination!

How many trips have you taken using your membership?
We have taken about 20 and have given at least five to our kids and friends as gifts/wedding presents! We plan to use two-four weeks per year between us using the weeks or sharing them with family.

We have been to great beach destinations in Mexico, Hawaii and the Bahamas, as well as some excellent places in Park City, Utah, and Phoenix.

Why do you think traveling is important?
The need to get away and relax! It is nice to have people waiting on you for a week. Also, going from minus-zero wind chills to 80° is fantastic. You get a chance to get away from the “outside” world – shut off electronic devices and turn off the TV!

Photos courtesy of member Lee R.

Corey is a writer from Overland Park, KS, and has been with Global Discovery Vacations since September 2013. Once a sportswriter, he traveled the country and became proficient in airport security line etiquette and leaving items in hotel rooms.